Couples Massage. (a precautionary tale)

Posted: July 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

On the first day of our vacation we were looking for a way to unwind, to shake the stress off.
We thought a couples massage would be perfect.
It was our first couples massage.
I was excited!
I had certain very realistic expectations.
I pictured Diana and myself wearing matching fluffy bathrobes. There would be the faint scent of lavender and musk in the air, maybe the sound of ocean waves in the background.
We would hold hands and lovingly gaze into each other’s eyes as we were gently massaged by discreet experts in relaxation.
But, that is not what happened…
Not at all.
Brace yourself! This is terrifying…
It was a place called Tao Massage near the beach.
We found it on yelp, there were dozens of positive reviews.
Tao is a Chinese word meaning path.
For us, it was a personal path to pain!
We arrived early to fill out the necessary paperwork and discuss the particulars of the procedure. We have been to reputable massage joints all over the southeast and there is always paperwork…right?
We were greeted by two bored looking women in sweatpants.
There was no paperwork. There was no conversation or explanation.
Then just barked “three o’clock?” And ushered us into a dark room. Then they pointed to a sign and said “read”.
The sign said “disrobe to your level of comfort”.
I thought, okay, for me, that means that I’m leaving my cargo shorts and socks on. I laid down on the hard wooden table and covered my pudgy body as best I could with the threadbare polyester sheet (I’m pretty sure the sheet was older than me). The room smelled like old pickles.
I put my face in the stained donut pillow.
And awaited the relaxation…
It never showed up.
The ladies entered the room.
My lady laughed out loud (I’m not making this up) and she talked to her coworker in Chinese.
Then, they both laughed…
Evidently my comfort level was not okay with my masseuse, she immediately yanked on my belt loop and shouted “Take off pants now!”
I responded in a voice that sounded to my wife like a scared little boy: “I kinda wanted to leave them on…”
“Take off pants now!”
“But, the sign said…”
“Take off pants now!”
Then the beating began.
I swear I heard a giggle as the lady started to pound the crud out of my back.
I heard the other lady ask Diana “hard or soft?”
Diana (who has had a few massages, and is no sissy) said hard…
She would live to regret that.
Let me explain, my wife is a Midwest girl who aced natural child birth. She has a very high tolerance for pain.
But, She has never experienced a pain like she did for that hour.
I heard faint whimpers coming from Diana’s side. She kept expecting it to get more relaxing, but…it…didn’t.
On my side of the darkness, the lady was pulling my arms and legs in completely unnatural positions. I’m not a limber man, I never have been. But this lady was determined to make me Gumby.
I swear, she was trying hard to pull me off the table head first.
It was scary.
Strange, guttural noises came out of my body, noises that I didn’t think I was capable of.
I’m pretty sure that instead of massage school, these ladies attended a professional wrestling school. They did every possible wrestling hold on us. We were body slammed, elbowed unmercifully, side armed, even slapped.
Diana’s lady viscously yanked and pulled her hair. I’ve never been so glad to be bald!
We somehow both received the wedgies of our life! (And, I’ve had my share of wedgies!)
After exactly 60 minutes, both ladies did some kind of weird slap thing on our respective backs and announced “finished!”
They left the room.
We just sat there in the dark.
There was a weird silence.
Diana felt like she was going to throw up.
We looked at each other like we had just survived a mugging, a brutal mugging that we had paid for.
We just got dressed as fast as we could, I put my shirt on backwards.
We limped out of the darkness in complete silence.
We went to the front desk, where one lady sadistically smiled and said “nice massage!”
We were both unable to speak coherently. We responded with something that sounded like…
We threw the payment at the lady as best we could with hands that suddenly didn’t work anymore.
We stumbled out in a state of shock, fighting back tears and unable to really talk about what had just transpired.
We drove back to our condo in silence.
That night we checked each other for bruises, and we slowly were able to speak and function again.
We swore that someday we would be able to laugh about this, probably after the swelling goes down.
(I honestly don’t think I will be laughing about the whole wedgie incident anytime soon. That was just too embarrassing.)
We eventually recovered…
A few hours of sitting in the sunshine with our toes in the sand helped us shake off the stress.
We are rethinking our trust in yelp reviews.
Our arms, legs and comfort levels were stretched to painful lengths.
We somehow survived.
We truly know what it is to be rubbed the wrong way.





  1. Lorri White says:

    WOW! What an extremely horrifying experience! I’m so glad you both survived!


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